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Washington State and Territorial Censuses, 1857-1892772,246
WEB: Washington, Various County Census Records, 1850-1914Free769,198
U.S., Indexed Early Land Ownership and Township Plats, 1785-1898165,796
Washington, Enrollment and Allotment Applications of Washington Indians, 1911-1919Free31,303
Washington, Compiled Census Index, 1850-909,546
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Sorted by Washington Birth, Marriage & Death
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Washington, Marriage Records, 1854-2013Free13,315,117
Washington, Death Index, 1940-20175,357,095
U.S., Presbyterian Church Records, 1701-19704,530,460
Washington, Marriage Index, 1969-20173,988,953
Washington, Select Death Certificates, 1907-19602,995,462
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U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942Updated15,293,445
Washington, WWI Service Statement RecordsFree47,912
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U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project)Free5,823,338
U.S., Index to Alien Arrivals at Canadian Atlantic and Pacific Seaports, 1904-19444,355,887
Washington, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-19653,577,120
U.S., Applications for Seaman's Protection Certificates, 1916-1940320,331
Washington, Petitions for Naturalization, 1860-1991245,300
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There are no Newspapers & Periodicals collections unique to Washington
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There are no Pictures collections unique to Washington
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Sorted by Washington Directories & Member Lists
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U.S., Northern Pacific Railway Company Personnel Files, 1890-1963315,594
U.S., Dutch Christian Reformed Church Membership Records, 1856-1970210,144
U.S., Dutch Christian Reformed Church Vital Records, 1856-197052,945
Washington, Postmaster Indexes, Prior to 196515,381
Oregon, Washington and Alaska gazetteer and business directory : 1901-1902.1,208
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Sorted by Washington Court, Land, Wills & Financial
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Washington, County Records, 1856-20096,879,890
Washington, County Land Records, 1850-1954884,953
U.S., Indexed Early Land Ownership and Township Plats, 1785-1898165,796
Washington, Wills and Probate Records, 1851-1970124,056
Washington, Enrollment and Allotment Applications of Washington Indians, 1911-1919Free31,303
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Who's Who on the Pacific Coast, 1913Free3,701
Oregon, Washington and Alaska gazetteer and business directory : 1901-1902.1,208
Charles W. Smith's Pacific Northwest Americana388
Origin of Washington geographic names364
Guide to depositories of manuscript collections in the United States.46
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U.S., Indexed Early Land Ownership and Township Plats, 1785-1898165,796
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U.S., Women of the West, 1928Free4,669
Who's Who on the Pacific Coast, 1913Free3,701
A history of the Puget Sound country1,307
Historic towns of the western states732
The Oregonian's handbook of the Pacific Northwest633
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A Genealogical History

Washington in brief

Statehood: November 11, 1889
Capital: Olympia
Largest City: Seattle
Counties: 39
State motto: Al-Ki or Alki (By and By, or Hope For The Future)
State nickname: Evergreen State, Chinook State, Green Tree State
Neighboring states: Idaho, Oregon


Kettle Falls of the Columbia River, 1860

Interesting Facts

  • The first group of Americans who settled north of the Columbia River in what is now the state of Washington, had among its leaders a wealthy African American, George Washington Bush. Refused settlement south of the Columbia river, he and his group settled at Tumwater where he farmed until his death in 1863.
  • The northern border of Washington was disputed between the U.S. and England until 1846 when it was set at the 49th parallel, with the exception of Vancouver Island (a portion of which does extend south of the line).
  • The market for timber during the California Gold Rush brought settlers and the timber industry to the Puget Sound area. Timber from the area was used to build the rapidly expanding city of San Francisco and the surrounding area.
  • In 1860 gold was discovered in the Clearwater River area. This and the expansion of railroads in the area boosted the population, which doubled during the 1860s.

Featured Washington Data Collections

U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 194215,293,445
WEB: Washington, Various County Census Records, 1850-1914769,198
U.S., Northern Pacific Railway Company Personnel Files, 1890-1963315,594
Washington, Death Index, 1940-20175,357,095
Washington, Marriage Records, 1854-201313,315,117

Famous People

Help and Advice

Resources

Washington Census Research

Federal census records for Washington begin in 1850 and continue every ten years thereafter. The 1850 census placed the present-day state of Washington with the Oregon Territory. The 1860 enumeration included what was later to become Idaho Territory and parts of Montana and Wyoming.

Several territorial censuses were recorded for Washington. These schedules were required periodically by the federal government and excluded all Native Americans. The surviving schedules are available on microfilm through the Washington State Archives or its regional branches. The University of Washington, Suzzalo Library, has a two-volume set of territorial censuses which have been microfilmed and are available through interlibrary loan from the Washington State Library.

 

Washington Vital Records
Before 1891, Washington did not require the recording of births and deaths, although some counties and cities kept births and deaths. Between 1891 and 1907, birth and death registers were kept on the county level. Marriages have been recorded by county officials since the creation of Washington Territory in 1853.

  •  Western States marriage index (BYU Idaho): a searchable index to marriages in several western states, including Washington. See the web site for specific counties and years included in the index.
  • Washington Center for Health Statistics: Holds records of births and deaths from July 1907 to the present (current certificates may lag by 2-4 months), and marriage and divorce certificates from January 1968 to 4 months before the present date. See the above link for detailed holdings and ordering information.

 

Washington Research Resources

The organizations listed below provide information about Washington history and genealogy. In addition to these state-level resources, many counties and towns maintain important genealogical collections in local libraries, genealogical societies, or historical societies, so check for a local resource when researching.
 

Statewide Research Resources

 

Specialty and Regional Research